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Juniata Women to Stage 'Vagina Monologues' on Campus

(Posted February 16, 2004)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The award-winning and sometimes controversial play ?The Vagina Monologues? will be staged and performed by Juniata College students and faculty at 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 22, Tuesday, Feb. 24, and Thursday, Feb. 26 in the Ellis College Center ballroom, as part of V-day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.

?While this is a play, the performers are all women from the Juniata community who will read their parts from scripts on stage,? says Johanna Holtan, a senior from Fargo, N.D. majoring in women?s studies and communication, who is organizing the event. ?The response to our call for women to perform the readings was phenomenal.?

Admission to the production is $10, with all proceeds from the play to go to Huntingdon House, a local shelter for women. Tickets are on sale now at the information desk in Ellis Hall. For information about tickets call (814) 641-3000.

The content of the ?Vagina Monologues? is frank and contains very explicit language. The production is not recommended for children under age 17.

Holtan says more than 25 Juniata students, all women, are performing the play, as well as several residence directors and faculty members such as Grace Fala, associate professor of communication.

The production is directed and produced by Jaime Schwartz, a senior from Walkersville, Md. studying education, Lea Hoisington, a senior from Grantham, N.H. and Kathy Bunce, assistant director of campus activities.

The play ?The Vagina Monologues? was produced in 1998 and received an Obie Award, the award for top off-Broadway productions, that same year. Written by Eve Ensler, the play has been performed countless times in professional and community theaters. The play has been translated into 25 languages. Ensler based the play on her interviews with more than 2,000 women. ?The Vagina Monologues? celebrates women?s sexuality and strength and addresses the violence and violations experienced by women.

The production is part of V-day, a public movement inspired by early performances of the ?Monologues.? Last year there were more than 2,00 V-day events and the movement has raised more than $14 million for women?s programs around the world.

Ensler is still very involved in V-day, and her most recent play, ?Necessary Target,? which is set in a Bosnian refugee camp, recently had a successful run in an off-Broadway theater in New York City.

?The subject matter might make people a little uncomfortable, but that?s sort of the point of the play,? says Holtan. ?I think people will enjoy it. It?s nothing dramatic -- just women talking about themselves.?

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.